Proud Academic Heritage

Thanks to the Mathematics Genealogy Project, my labmates and I have recently compiled a chart of our academic ancestors, which traces Ph.D. advisor-advisee relationships back to the 1600s. We compiled the chart and got it framed for our advisor’s Gil Zussman‘s birthday – had a lot of fun with that.

Here it is: the pdf of my academic genealogy tree

Compiling a chart like this is a lovely exercise. It feels special to be realizing that we are directly connected to Gauss, Bernoulli, Poisson, Laplace, Euler, and many other great mathematicians we have been learning about for so many years. I was no more than 8 years old when I first opened a book about Fourier Series (by sheer accident – my parents had a bunch of engineering books scattered around the house, and the book’s title, “Fourier Series”, seemed like some mysterious magic to me) – feels fantastic to now be one of Fourier’s academic descendants.

Fun fact: in my dissertation, I ended up explicitly mentioning 4 of my mathematical ancestors:

  • Lipschitz: “We note that this assumption holds for any Lipschitz continuous function,
  • Lagrange: “Applying the Lagrange multipliers method . . .,”
  • Fourier: “We obtain this measure by determining the maximum spectral component of the Fourier Transform,” and
  • Laplace: “Using the Laplace-domain transfer function . . . “

Sad fact: there are only two women on the whole chart, me and my labmate Jelena Marasevic.

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